New diabetes awareness campaign encourages patients to talk

June 22nd, 2009 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) An innovative diabetes awareness campaign based on patient to patient interaction and education on managing the disease in daily life, now underway in more then 40 countries, was launched in India Monday.
“Through this patient-focused programme, we will seek out and provide health care professionals with educational resources, including proper training and materials to help positively impact the lives of patients with diabetes,” said Sandeep Gupta, managing director of pharmaceutical firm Lily India. It launched the “Diabetes Conversations” initiative in collaboration with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

Gupta said his firm would soon be approaching several leading hospitals where the Diabetes Conversations workshops would be held.

A major thrust of the campaign is the Conversation Map - a kit that comprises cue cards and a quiz on diabetes - that will be made available to patients.

Launching the initiative, endocrinologist S.M. Sadikot who is the IDF country representative, said diabetes cannot be stopped but can be controlled, primarily by raising awareness.

“The Conversation Map tool offers a distinct contrast to the traditional methods of diabetes education by providing a dynamic, small group, discovery-learning experience,” he said.

As a part of this initiative, Lily India will also train nearly 600 “diabetes educators” who will conduct the interactions between patients.

According to the IDF - an organisation of over 200 national diabetes associations in 160 countries - by 2025, around 380 million people worldwide will be suffering from diabetes including 80.3 million people in India. The country already had an estimated 40 million diabetes patients in 2007.

“The global impact of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, personally affecting both individuals and societies at large so there is a pressing need for raising awareness,” said endocrinologist S.K. Wangnoo of Apollo Hospitals.

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